New organization promotes student volunteerism in Kane

A new organization at Kane Area High School gives students an opportunity to devote more time to volunteerism in their community.Members of the group-- called Students Modeling Ideal Life Experiences (S.M.I.L.E.)-- take part in special projects to benefit the community.The initial members of S.M.I.L.E. include Grace Bicehouse, Emily Truden, Micah Edinger, Brent Rounsville and Salena Winston.Kathleen Prosperi, an AmeriCorps worker at the high school, formed S.M.I.L.E. to offer students a chance to help with community projects on a year-round basis.Every month, the student group is planning to help a different organization in the Kane area. The Friends' Memorial Public Library in Kane is the first beneficiary of the S.M.I.L.E. program.Students placed book collection boxes at the high school, the SMP store and the Kane Area Development Center. Area residents donated 66 books, which the students are packing up and taking to the library.Prosperi said she and the students met with Cindy Parker, library director, to plan the book-collection project to add more books for the library. Those books not placed on the shelves will be sold to benefit the library, Prosperi said."We're trying to making our students feel comfortable about volunteering in their community," Prosperi said in citing a benefit of S.M.I.L.E. As a requirement for graduation from Kane High, all students are required to volunteer in the community for a minimum of eight hours during each school year.Prosperi said S.M.I.L.E. is for students who are willing to devote more than the minimum amount of time as a volunteer in their community.See full article by purchasing the Jan. 10 edition of The Kane Republican.